Breaking Down Beanie Wells' Carries In Cardinals/Chargers

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 27: Runningback Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football past linebacker Donald Butler #56 of the San Diego Chargers during the first quarter of the preseason NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 27, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 34-31. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Beanie Wells had himself a solid preseason game as he played just barely into the second half of the preseason game between the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers. His stat line was 10 carries for 63 yards and a reception for five yards. 

Obviously at 6.3 yards per carry, it was a successful game. But let us look at each of his 10 carries and their context.

Of the ten carries, only one came with no tight end in the game, but there was another back alongside him. Two came with three wide and a TE. Three came with two wide and two TE. Three were with only one wide, but with two TEs and two in the backfield. One carry was with two wide, one TE and two in the backfield.

Nine of his carries were on first down and the other was on second down. Half of the carries went to the left, four were to the middle and one to the right side. 

On the positive side, he lost yards only once and on one other carry he gained only one yard. No other carry was for less that three yards. 

I don't know where changes were made, but by my calculations, he had 65 yards and that matched what the announcers said after his tenth and final carry. The final stat sheet had him with 63. 

Now for the breakdown of each of his carries:

Carry one -- 10 yards

On first and 10 at the 35, his first carry is a rush to the left going around an Early Doucet block. It goes for 10 yards. He puts his shoulders down at the end before he is brought down. No real effect, but it was good to see him try to punish someone for tackling him. 

Carry two -- -1 yard

On second and 10, the hand-off is made and designed to go between Levi Brown and Daryn Colledge. Corey Liuget sheds Lyle Sendlein and gets into the backfield untouched, tackling Wells for the only loss Wells had on the night.

Carry three -- five yards

On first down, Beanie breaks a tackle in the backfield and then heads to the outside right and stiff arms a guy to gain five. 

Carry four -- four yards

First and 10 at the Chargers' 40, three wide, no TE and two backs in the game. The call goes to the outside left. Wells gets four yards.

Carry five -- three yards

On first down at the opposing 21, the play goes up the middle. A small hole opens up and he pushes through for the short gain. 

Carry six -- six yards

The play goes to the left on first down. Wells is tripped in the backfield but stays on his feet. It was good to see. One big flaw in 2010 was that he struggled at making guys miss. This time he stayed on his feet and stumbled forward for six yards. He did not shy from contact. 

Carry seven -- one yard

On first and 10 at the 13, the play goes up the middle. No hole is there and he is met at the line of scrimmage.

Carry eight -- nine yards

From the 16-yard line, the plays goes to the middle. He finds a hole, makes the cut and then moves. The play goes for nine yards and was the final play of the first half.

Carry nine -- three yards

Inside their own five-yard line on first and 13, the play is a hand off up the middle for only three yards. 

Carry 10 -- 26 yards

This was the big play he made. It was a pitch play to the left. He finds the gap, makes his cut and goes. However, when he reached the secondary, he made a cut to the middle of the field rather than keeping on moving to the sideline without breaking stride. Doing so would have netted more yards. 

...

On the whole, at least on his final play he could have gained more yards. However on at least one other play he broke a tackle in the backfield and turned them into positive yards. He fought for yards and still used his well known stiff arm. 

It was a solid game for him. Now he needs to replicate it for the limited amount of time he will play against Denver and then carry it into the regular season opener. Hopefully he can show that he is ready for the workload he is soon to be having.

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